Monday, April 15, 2013

The 5-2 : Crime Poetry Weekly: Jerry House

You can hear Jerry House read his poem at this link, and he has a few words to say about it, too.  I liked it because it made me smile about the way we watch TV, knowing that what we watch isn't real but pretending that it is.  Knowing that not only is it unreal but that it's essentially pretty goofy even though it pretends to be showing us how the cops really work.  And I liked the way the the ridiculous nature of the show is played up in the poem even as the narrator admits that he watched obsessively.  We won't get fooled again, he says.  Oh, yeah?

Jerry House


We won't get fooled again.
That's what you told me
Over and over and over
For ten seasons.
Ten long seasons.

For ten seasons
I watched you:
Bend the law,
Twist the law,
Break the law,
All the while defecating on acceptable police procedure,
And occasionally shooting suspects we knew
(and you knew)
Were guilty.
For ten seasons
I watched your female colleagues
In low-cut, cleavage-bearing tops --
The professional attire
Of your special universe.

For ten years
I saw it all:
Speed's dead.
Marisol's dead.
Delko got it in the head
(and got it on with Calleigh).
Ryan got it in the eye.
I saw it all.
Ten seasons' worth:
Your quiet fury.
Your pissing contests --
Testosterone v. testosterone --
Mano a mano --
With the scum of the earth
(or, at least, Miami).
For ten years I knew
The scum would always lose.

Delko left and Jesse came
And Jesse left and Delko came back.
Alexx left and Tara came,
But she was no good so
It's Tom's turn at bat.
Kyle showed up,
Then went to jail,
Then went into the service --
Yeah, he was stuck
In a storyline without a purpose.

So what was the crime?
My watching?
Or, you being there
For ten long years,
Stoic, unchanging,
Always staring downward?

And now,
After ten years,
You put your sunglasses on
And glide smoothly off-camera.
And now,
At last,
I know
You can't get fooled again.


Gerald So said...

Thanks again for participating in The 5-2's blog tour, Bill. The link to Jerry's audio reading and comments on "Criminal Foolishness" is here.

Peter Rozovsky said...

I like the bit of hip-hop cadence that he sneaks into the poem:

"Speed's dead.
Marisol's dead.
Delko got it in the head"

Unknown said...

I should have mentioned that. It's my favorite bit.